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1Ale82

8 bit 200 mbs vs 10 bit 100 mbs?

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Hello,

Sorry if this post is similar to several others, but I am kind stuck as I need a camera for video. I am starting out with video. I am currently using a Fuji X T2 for my still images but I have a couple of upcoming projects this summer and I am looking for another body to use for video or to be my only photo/video body in case I want to go really light.

I will be filming in the mountains (cold, rain, I have to carry everything on my back, etc.) and not in a studio, so there are also fieldwork considerations I take into account. The materials will be for documentary and stock videos, nothing too complicated like green screen or graphical effects. The subjects will be a mix of landscape and wildlife shots, timelapses and human activities like local shepherds in their daily work, alpinists trekkings and hiking, etc.

For future proofing , especially for the stock videos, I want a body able to shoot in 4k.

I will be using Leica, Voigtlander and Nikon lenses, so the camera brand is not that important as I can always get an adapter. I know it’s like a Frankenstein kit but some were second hand bargains on the bay and some were “stolen-borrowed” from my father’s locker.

Quite likely I will also get an external recorder, like the Atomos flame or inferno, to have access to better codecs and video tools like false colors, zebra, vectorscopes, etc. Audio will be recorded separately with a MKH60 and a Tascam recorder.

 

I have come down to these choices: Fuji X H1, Sony A7III or GH5s.  Now my problem is, which one?

For video, they have each one some strong and weak points

Fuji XH1: 200mb bit rate, good colors, good ergonomics, Eterna simulation, poor battery life, only 8 bit

Sony A7 III: 100mb bitrate, better low light, longer battery life, bad menus

Gh5s: it has more of everything but I don’t like that much the m43 and I don’t see it as a good option for still images (probably it’s an obsession of mine as I have shot for long with Nikon cameras).

 

My question is: what would you choose between a camera that takes 8 bit videos at 200mb/s and another one that takes 10 bit video taken at 100mb/s?

Having to choose, I suppose the mb/s is the more important issue and acts like a bottleneck, as it dictates how much data you can have to play with. Probably this is also the reason why when you increase fps but not the mb/s, you start to get artifacts and lower quality.

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50 minutes ago, 1Ale82 said:

Hello,

Sorry if this post is similar to several others, but I am kind stuck as I need a camera for video. I am starting out with video. I am currently using a Fuji X T2 for my still images but I have a couple of upcoming projects this summer and I am looking for another body to use for video or to be my only photo/video body in case I want to go really light.

I will be filming in the mountains (cold, rain, I have to carry everything on my back, etc.) and not in a studio, so there are also fieldwork considerations I take into account. The materials will be for documentary and stock videos, nothing too complicated like green screen or graphical effects. The subjects will be a mix of landscape and wildlife shots, timelapses and human activities like local shepherds in their daily work, alpinists trekkings and hiking, etc.

For future proofing , especially for the stock videos, I want a body able to shoot in 4k.

I will be using Leica, Voigtlander and Nikon lenses, so the camera brand is not that important as I can always get an adapter. I know it’s like a Frankenstein kit but some were second hand bargains on the bay and some were “stolen-borrowed” from my father’s locker.

Quite likely I will also get an external recorder, like the Atomos flame or inferno, to have access to better codecs and video tools like false colors, zebra, vectorscopes, etc. Audio will be recorded separately with a MKH60 and a Tascam recorder.

 

I have come down to these choices: Fuji X H1, Sony A7III or GH5s.  Now my problem is, which one?

For video, they have each one some strong and weak points

Fuji XH1: 200mb bit rate, good colors, good ergonomics, Eterna simulation, poor battery life, only 8 bit

Sony A7 III: 100mb bitrate, better low light, longer battery life, bad menus

Gh5s: it has more of everything but I don’t like that much the m43 and I don’t see it as a good option for still images (probably it’s an obsession of mine as I have shot for long with Nikon cameras).

 

My question is: what would you choose between a camera that takes 8 bit videos at 200mb/s and another one that takes 10 bit video taken at 100mb/s?

Having to choose, I suppose the mb/s is the more important issue and acts like a bottleneck, as it dictates how much data you can have to play with. Probably this is also the reason why when you increase fps but not the mb/s, you start to get artifacts and lower quality.

I'm sure you will get lots of advice / opinions from others on here, but here's a few thoughts:

  • Before you choose technical aspects or equipment you should understand what your customers requirements are (eg, broadcast standards etc) and make sure you comply to those
  • You mention getting an external recorder, but then ask about camera codecs - maybe try and get clear about if you're going to use an external recorder or not first as if you are then the internal recording formats on the camera won't matter but the HDMI/SDI? output will
  • All cameras in this league (ILC, weatherproof) will deliver a good image, so perhaps there are other factors like ergonomics that are more important here?  If you are carrying this stuff up and down mountains in the rain and then don't want to use it then that's a fundamental issue - the image quality of a shot you didn't take is zero, and if you're annoyed and fighting with the equipment all the time for an extra bit of data-rate then your quality of life will be much lower too.  
  • Often cameras have quirky little features that can really make them great to use in your particular situation - I'd try and read reviews of the cameras written by people who shoot where and how you are going to because they'll have worked out all the little things, and also will have tried to minimise the setup as much as possible with batteries and charging and media management etc.
  • In terms of the technical aspects the 8-bit vs 10-bit debate is raging with knowledgeable and convincing arguments on all sides - this thread could go for hundreds of posts on this alone.  Also, bitrate matters, but what matters more is how much motion there is for the bitrate to describe.  Locked off tripod shots require much less bit depth than fast action shots.
  • With todays cameras you're really choosing between options that are all at least 7 out of 10, so there are no bad choices, just some are slightly better than others.

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A7 III. Color is great (Better than the a7rII/A7sII), battery life is great, ergonomics are fantastic now. Its fast and responsive and while the menus still suck you can set the camera how you want. Still quality is insane. Lowlight is incredible.

Best option for adapting your existing lenses in my opinion.

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What are the focal length of your lenses???

If they are full frame lenses, then MAYBE getting a full frame camera would be better??? Although i guess a speed booster would also work.

I have heard people say that the Fuji is more "nikon-like" in terms of ergonomics / ui. I think it is supposed to have a very good EVF as well so if you are use to optical view finder then maybe fuji viewfinder might be nicer for you???

a7 III would PROBABLY have the best IBIS, but am not 100% sure on that. However, at least for stills, it would have the best "fake IBIS", meaning you could underexpose by more stops and push more than the other two cameras. Also a7 III has best dynamic range for stills.

Doesn't GH5s have false color and vectorscope and a few other video features that make life easier? Isn't the LCD screen supposed to be real nice???

Isn't there a 400mbs codec on the GH5s in 10-bit???

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6 hours ago, kye said:

I'm sure you will get lots of advice / opinions from others on here, but here's a few thoughts:

  • Before you choose technical aspects or equipment you should understand what your customers requirements are (eg, broadcast standards etc) and make sure you comply to those
  • You mention getting an external recorder, but then ask about camera codecs - maybe try and get clear about if you're going to use an external recorder or not first as if you are then the internal recording formats on the camera won't matter but the HDMI/SDI? output will
  • All cameras in this league (ILC, weatherproof) will deliver a good image, so perhaps there are other factors like ergonomics that are more important here?  If you are carrying this stuff up and down mountains in the rain and then don't want to use it then that's a fundamental issue - the image quality of a shot you didn't take is zero, and if you're annoyed and fighting with the equipment all the time for an extra bit of data-rate then your quality of life will be much lower too.  
  • Often cameras have quirky little features that can really make them great to use in your particular situation - I'd try and read reviews of the cameras written by people who shoot where and how you are going to because they'll have worked out all the little things, and also will have tried to minimise the setup as much as possible with batteries and charging and media management etc.
  • In terms of the technical aspects the 8-bit vs 10-bit debate is raging with knowledgeable and convincing arguments on all sides - this thread could go for hundreds of posts on this alone.  Also, bitrate matters, but what matters more is how much motion there is for the bitrate to describe.  Locked off tripod shots require much less bit depth than fast action shots.
  • With todays cameras you're really choosing between options that are all at least 7 out of 10, so there are no bad choices, just some are slightly better than others.

Ergonomic will definitely be a main factor. My first camera was a Nikon D700 and for ergonomics it was a really nice and well designed products. I have used it in the Arctic and several other cold places and it always felt good in my hands. I like also the bodies from Fuji. And I think the new XH1 improves the older XT2 in 3 aspects, with the top lcd, the better viewfinder and the bigger grip, really nice to have when wearing gloves. I never tried sony cameras, but always heard bad opinions about their ergonomics, construction and internal menu.

Considering internal vs external codecs, maybe I am a little confused. I know better codecs like prores or avidhd can be had only externally and that these codecs are a lot more robust than internal ones.  I also understand that recording internally you will have a few compromises like 420 sampling, lower quality codecs, etc.

What I have not understood very well is if the max bitrate from the camera applies also to the external recording device. I mean, the max bitrate comes from the camera internal processors, even to the external recorder via hdmi, right? If the camera can record up to 100/200 mbs/s, the external recorder will have to follow that data stream also? 

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2 hours ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

What are the focal length of your lenses???

If they are full frame lenses, then MAYBE getting a full frame camera would be better??? Although i guess a speed booster would also work.

I have heard people say that the Fuji is more "nikon-like" in terms of ergonomics / ui. I think it is supposed to have a very good EVF as well so if you are use to optical view finder then maybe fuji viewfinder might be nicer for you???

a7 III would PROBABLY have the best IBIS, but am not 100% sure on that. However, at least for stills, it would have the best "fake IBIS", meaning you could underexpose by more stops and push more than the other two cameras. Also a7 III has best dynamic range for stills.

Doesn't GH5s have false color and vectorscope and a few other video features that make life easier? Isn't the LCD screen supposed to be real nice???

Isn't there a 400mbs codec on the GH5s in 10-bit???

The lenses I have are Voigtlander M 15mm, Zeiss ZF 28 and 85, Leica 50 (ZM), 90 and 135, Nikon 105 and 300 ais.

For ergonomics, I guess the XH1 would be the best choice. Except a few aspects, I like also the body of my XT2 and I think the XH1 has improved a few things I don't particularly like about my XT2. So, for ergonomics I would tend to prefer Foji bodies over the others, even if the battery life is not that great. Never tried sony bodies but always heard bad opinions about them.

 

I know the Gh5s can record internally up to 400mbs, 10 bit and that it has so many video tools usually available only oon higher end products or external devices. So for video would be the best choice without a doubt, but don't like it very much as a body for still images, too low mp and m43 sensor.

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It may seem an odd suggestion at first, but have you thought about a Nikon D500?

1) Excellent dynamic range and image quality for your photos

2) Proven ruggedness, build quality and durability

3) Full compatibility with most of your lenses with no adaptor required

4) Great Nikon colours for video, but only 8 bit 4:2:0 internal with 8 bit 4:2:2 via external recorder

5) Cheapest solution for body only pricing

Only downsides:

1) No IBIS

2) 4K video crop factor

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I haven't seen the X-H1, but I do not believe that Fuji have great ergonomics in general, but if you own one already, and you like what they got, then probably you like them ergonomics. GH5S probably is the best in ergonomics, among them, but I judge from the GH5, which I believe are the same. Video wise, GH5S again is the best, not even close, codec wise, and tool's wise, no external recorder needed and already has most tools, so no monitor needed either, and that helps a lot saving money and not carrying other things around.

I am not sure about A7iii color science, in every review I can see yellow skin and the such, it is mentioned in some of those reviews, the other two are much better, and the GH5S is the best Panasonic hybrid ever in color science, very close to Canon color (per a few of the reviews, which are posted on the GH5S thread) and very different from the GH5 which is "greener".

You have to consider the ultra wide shots that you may need thought. The 15mm isn't going to be that wide on a speedboosted m43 camera, but if you want to shoot stock footage, the best possible quality you can get, is very important (GH5S).

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45 minutes ago, 1Ale82 said:

The lenses I have are Voigtlander M 15mm, Zeiss ZF 28 and 85, Leica 50 (ZM), 90 and 135, Nikon 105 and 300 ais.

 

Than you are far of going from scratch. So, from functional point of view, without additional investments (gimbal, speedbooster etc) - Sony looks like obvious choice as sum of enough usable (not specially advanced/accentuated) parts?

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2 hours ago, 1Ale82 said:

Ergonomic will definitely be a main factor. My first camera was a Nikon D700 and for ergonomics it was a really nice and well designed products. I have used it in the Arctic and several other cold places and it always felt good in my hands. I like also the bodies from Fuji. And I think the new XH1 improves the older XT2 in 3 aspects, with the top lcd, the better viewfinder and the bigger grip, really nice to have when wearing gloves. I never tried sony cameras, but always heard bad opinions about their ergonomics, construction and internal menu.

Considering internal vs external codecs, maybe I am a little confused. I know better codecs like prores or avidhd can be had only externally and that these codecs are a lot more robust than internal ones.  I also understand that recording internally you will have a few compromises like 420 sampling, lower quality codecs, etc.

What I have not understood very well is if the max bitrate from the camera applies also to the external recording device. I mean, the max bitrate comes from the camera internal processors, even to the external recorder via hdmi, right? If the camera can record up to 100/200 mbs/s, the external recorder will have to follow that data stream also? 

My understanding is that in terms of internal vs external they can be quite different.  
As an example the XH internal is 4K 8-bit 4:2:0 at up to 200Mbit, but the HDMI output sends out 4K 8-bit 4:2:2 which the recorder can then save in whatever format and bitrate it supports.

Another example to prove the point is that the Sony RX0 can only record 1080 internally but outputs 4K so if you use an external recorder you can record in 4K with it, so they can be quite different.

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5 hours ago, Luke Mason said:

If you shoot subjects and scenes with a lot of motion, 8bit 200Mbps is absolutely better than 10bit 100Mbps. For mostly stationary stuff, the difference will be negligible.

GH5S does 10bit 4:2:2 400Mbps I believe.

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13 hours ago, 1Ale82 said:

Ergonomic will definitely be a main factor. My first camera was a Nikon D700 and for ergonomics it was a really nice and well designed products. I have used it in the Arctic and several other cold places and it always felt good in my hands. I like also the bodies from Fuji. And I think the new XH1 improves the older XT2 in 3 aspects, with the top lcd, the better viewfinder and the bigger grip, really nice to have when wearing gloves. I never tried sony cameras, but always heard bad opinions about their ergonomics, construction and internal menu.

Considering internal vs external codecs, maybe I am a little confused. I know better codecs like prores or avidhd can be had only externally and that these codecs are a lot more robust than internal ones.  I also understand that recording internally you will have a few compromises like 420 sampling, lower quality codecs, etc.

What I have not understood very well is if the max bitrate from the camera applies also to the external recording device. I mean, the max bitrate comes from the camera internal processors, even to the external recorder via hdmi, right? If the camera can record up to 100/200 mbs/s, the external recorder will have to follow that data stream also? 

If HDMI output is pre-compression (as is the case for most modern cameras) then whatever the internal recording bit rate is does not matter. HDMI will output the color space the camera shoots in though, such as debeyering options selected, 4:2:2 or 4:2:0, 8 bits or 10 bits etc. That sort of stuff is usually done by the sensor interface processor, which is where the HDMI feed comes from. Compression is done later by the main processor if you are doing internal recording.

The general data flow is sensor to interface processor; interface processor to HDMI AND/OR main processor; HDMI to external display/storage device OR processor to internal card.

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28 minutes ago, Luke Mason said:

We are talking about interframe compression here. the 400Mbps codec is intraframe.

How come? I think no one ever mentioned compression methods here.

It does 10bit 4:2:2, 200Mbps Long GOP also. Doesn't that count?

In anyway, the GH5S codecs are the most ever on a hybrid camera, no one can beat Panasonic on codecs, except BM of course, but it isn't here yet, and is hardly a hybrid, if at all.

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@1Ale82 If your shooting out in the mountains with cold/rain elements i'd forget the sony's especially A7III as it's only dust/moisture proof vs complete splash/freeze weather sealing for XH1.

And with the WR primes you could have a rock solid setup.

Also you mentioned timelapse, another point for XH1 as it's got an intervalometer function. no can't do on A73.

Btw, don't discard your XT2, with the latest update it's got F-Log, 120fps and couple other enhancements.

XT2 + XH1 could be an awesome combo and minimize lens swapping.

As for the 200Mbit vs 100Mbit, less compressed means less artifacts which could be very useful in nature/water shots imo.

Check out the thorough A73 vs XH1 comparison here: https://mirrorlesscomparison.com/sony-vs-fujifilm/a7iii-vs-fuji-xh1/4/

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@DevonChris Yes, I thought about Nikon bodies. But with a camera like a D500, I would need to buy more AF lenses from Nikon, as with such a camera manual focusing will be quite hard, especially on long lenses and without a proper focusing screen for manual lenses.

 

@Kisaha I think you are right about color rendition of GH5/GH5s. I have seen some reviews like this one

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo_YQgBgtL8

which I found really interesting

 

@Luke Mason Thanks for the clarification. I think I will have motion to record, but nothing too fast.

 

@Mokara Thanks for the explanations. I was thinking the main processor was the “brain” behind everything. If you say the hdmi can pull more than what the main processor could record internally, then probably the XH1 will be a good choice as, from specs, it records colors in the wider space rec2020 than the 709.

 

@Django Thanks for the link. I think you are right, considering body construction, Fuji and Panasonic would be better. I remember some old blogs/forum discussions from people using the GH4 in some tough places without issues. The GH5 would be the same I think. And XH1 vs XT2, I think the bigger grip and the top lcd are some nice features to have for fieldwork.

I was just taking for granted the intervallometer in the A7III. I know (now) about the latest firmware for the XT2. When I was writing this tread, I was not aware yet of the new firmware.

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